Recently I watched a video of a well known actor talking about why he hates pornography. He talked a lot about fantasy and how in porn these actors are portraying just that, a fantasy. What they are doing in front of the camera is not real life, even for the porn stars.
Fantasy has a lot to do with the addiction cycle. Addicts are constantly in a state of preoccupation, meaning that part of their minute to minute mental capacity is being spent on the addiction. It is something that is always lying underneath the surface. Then a trigger happens, seeing a photo on Facebook or Instagram, stress, depression, or any number of things. Once the addict is triggered they escape into fantasy. They replay images or scenes in their mind, over and over again, quickly spiraling out of control. This leads to acting out, the hyper addictive chemicals in the brain are released, shame set in and the cycle repeats itself.
I was thinking about what this actor said and the concept of contentment came to my mind. For many married men and women who are addicted to pornography discontentment plays a big part in their preoccupation and subsequent fantasies. The addict thinks if I looked better or my spouse was more attractive or if our sex life was more dangerous and taboo THEN THEY WILL BE HAPPY.
THIS IS A LIE!
Even well sought after porn stars admit that what they are portraying on screen is nothing like who they are in real life and the scenes they are in are far from their actual sex life. It’s fantasy. The addict seeks this out to escape from however they view their current situation but what they seek will never come true. It is the carrot on a string and it keeps them hooked and headed downward on the damaging and painful road of addiction.
I am reminded of Paul’s words:
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
Married men and women, hear my words: Learn to be content.
Now that might sound boring or even dream crushing. I’m not saying you can’t have goals or strive to make yourself better, but if you are doing it for the wrong reasons you might be fueling your own addiction.
Find contentment in what the Lord has already blessed you with.
Find your identity in Christ.
Find your purpose in the church.